Prevalence of Pro eating-disorder sites
The prevalence of pro-eating disorder sites show the determination of this group. According to the “2008 International Internet Trends Study” issued by Optenet, pro-ana and pro-mia sites increased by 469.42 percent between 2006 and 2007 – rising from 278 sites to 1,583. A rate of expansion that was triple that of violence-based sites, and more than six times the rate of increase of racism sites. In fact, pro-ana sites showed the largest percentage growth of the 52 categories that were evaluated by Optenet, even outpacing personal Web pages (which recorded a 455 percent increase).
These increases come in spite of a 10-year effort by search engines such as Yahoo and MSN to shut down websites that promote eating disorders. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, over 90% of these websites are open to the public.
Eating Disorder Statistics
(NOTE: Minor differences in percentages are found between various resources)
Statistics from the South Carolina Dept. of Mental Health:
- It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men
- One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
- Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
- Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder
- An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
- A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
- The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
- Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
- 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
- 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight
- 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting.
- Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.5
- 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting.
- 22% dieted “often” or “always.”5
- 86% report onset of eating disorder by age 20; 43% report onset between ages of 16 and 20.6
- 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique.3
- Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.17
- An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.9
- Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases.”10
- Among gay men, nearly 14% appeared to suffer from bulimia and over 20% appeared to be anorexic.11
- Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.15
- An estimated 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14
- About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.15
- An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.14
- An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.14
- 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.18
- The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.3
- In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight,
- of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight.16
- 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.12
- 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.13
- 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
- Mortality in Anorexia Nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1995; 152 (7): 1073-4.
- Characteristics and Treatment of Patients with Chronic Eating Disorders, by Dr. Greta Noordenbox, International Journal of Eating Disorders, Volume 10: 15-29, 2002.
- The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.
- American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 152 (7), July 1995, p. 1073-1074, Sullivan, Patrick F.
- Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders 10-year study, 2000
- Public Health Service’s Office in Women’s Health, Eating Disorders Information Sheet, 2000.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Carlat, D.J., Camargo. Review of Bulimia Nervosa in Males. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 1997.
- American Psychological Association, 2001.
- International Journal of Eating Disorders 2002; 31: 300-308.
- Prevention of Eating Problems with Elementary Children, Michael Levine, USA Today, July 1998.
- The National Institute of Mental Health: “Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions.” Pub No. 01-4901. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/nedspdisorder.cfm.
- Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. website. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.anred.com/
- Nutrition Journal. March 31, 2006.
- Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat!. New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 5.
- The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” published September 2002, revised October 2003, http://www.renfrew.org